Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Transocean Winner

In my last post I said that I'd show some pictures of the oil rig that ran aground on the Island a week or two ago. I should say that if you want to know about the recent drama then Googling the name will supply you enough information to keep you reading for a week. The principal question is why an oil rig (albeit a very small one by oil rig standards) was being towed around the Hebrides in the open Atlantic when there were gales forecast. 

The evening was overcast and by the time we got to the end of the walk it was almost pitch dark. Most of the photos were taken in marginal conditions.

Well here are the oil rig pictures preceeded by some of the terrain we yomped over to get the pictures.

First sight of the rig
About half way there with a few more valleys to cross
I'd forgotten about the 'over the next ridge there's another ridge' when hiking it's so long since I did any.
We had to go round some of the bogs keeping to the higher ground
Lazy beds from an old township long abandoned.
Strangely there's signs of an old building on top of the stac as well as the cairn.
At last the rig hoves into sight.
One of the tugs standing by.
Gaz capturing a wonderful wide-angled photo with the vessel, the rig and the beach.
Supplies just dropped onto the helideck.

Friday, 19 August 2016

A Sense of Achievement

I woke this morning to a wonderful misty morning:

I spent the day preparing doors and windows etc for painting and, because the afternoon was so perfect for the garden, did some gardening too.

Gaz had brought me some wood in his vanmobile this morning and suggested that we might go for a walk this evening from Garenin to Dalmore to get some sunset shots of the oil rig stranded at Dalmore. I'm sure you'll have heard of it: when it happened I had messages from all over the world telling me about it or asking if I could see it.

That's a sort of walk I haven't been able to do for quite a few years: rough, boggy, hilly terrain.

The evening came and I was tired and it was raining but we (Gaz, his Father-in-Law and I) decided to set off for Garenin on the other side of the Island anyway.  When we got to Garenin the rain stopped. We walked. We returned to Garenin a couple of hours later. It started raining and did so until we were home again.

Walkmeter is a wonderful app which I have on my iPhone. As we left Garenin I set it going. This is the information it provided (the link for the full information and map is here).  

Okay so people do walks like that every day and think nothing of it but it's so long since I have been able to do it that for me 3.31 miles over that sort of terrain was a real achievement and a great advertisement for modern orthopaedic replacements and the skills of those who perform the operations. It is, after all, only 17 weeks since I had a new knee.

So as I type this sitting in bed wide awake and having the occasional sip of cognac I feel a great sense of achievement (but not even a twinge of pain in my knee!).

The oil rig photos? My next post.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016


I've been home for a week. Anna came up with me from Bishopbriggs and, despite the poor weather until Monday, we managed to have a good time drinking plenty of coffee as we did our crosswords at The Woodlands and various other coffee shops in Stornoway. On Monday we spent the afternoon in the garden trying to bring it under control after the wet 'summer' which had encouraged rampant weeds whilst I was away. Tuesday morning at the crack of dawn I took Anna to the ferry for her journey home. What a fantastic morning and day we had. I spent most of it in the garden and the evening preparing the living room for a makeover.

So I have not spent as much time in Blogland nor on Facebook recently. I'm hoping to catch up soon. However as I'll be working in the garden on good days and decorating my living room as well as, hopefully, being some use out at Grimshader my Blogland exploits may be limited to coffee breaks (like now) when the temperature is 21℃ and I need to be indoors out of the heat!

Tuesday's sunrise around 05.30
Livingston Daisies love the sun too

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Thankful Thursday: Walking

Last night I arrived back on Lewis from a few weeks away visiting friends and family. In the process the Nighthawk and I have covered nearly 2,000 miles and seen enough motorway traffic to do me for years to come. Travelling in England in the school holidays is a dreadful experience. So a Thankful Thursday post would be quite enough if all I said was that I'm glad to be back safe and sound with all those miles behind me.

However the real reason for this post is to be thankful for all the steps that I have walked and walked easily and free of pain. CJ and Partner-Who-Loves-Tea and I strolled around stately homes and Welsh towns and Chester city. When I arrived back in Glasgow Anna suggested a walk along the canal. Well to be exact, before someone points out that walking on water is not one of my fort├ęs, along the canal towpath which has been given a tarmac surface and is used by cyclists as well as walkers.

It is the first 'routemarch' that I've managed for years and I managed it without any pain in my knee. It was a wonderful experience and gave me the confidence a few days later to walk from where we had parked to visit friends, along pavements into Glasgow city centre and back against the clock. Until my knee problems I'd have thought nothing of such a walk. Now I can do it again without any thought.

So today I'm very thankful, once again, for the surgeons and team in the National Health Service Western Isles Hospital who have so improved my quality of life.

Forth and Clyde Canal